Friday, June 17, 2005

Where Do We Go From Here?

Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin' up. And how do we spend our lives if there's no-one to lend us a hand... -Games People Play by the Alan Parsons Project.

I always thought these lyrics were well-crafted and chilling, even when I was young. Now my friends and I are beginning to live them. We all are facing our children aging with some degree of dread.

Many of you reading this are parents. I don't know how old your kids are. My friends and I have kids of all ages.

One of my best friends has two kids that just suddenly became 18. We're not sure how that happened. One day they were in middle school, the next day we were at their graduation party.

And my friend, the woman who always told me everything, including the naughty fact that she would be thrilled to be independant again and couldn't wait to kick them out of the nest... is suddenly casting about aimlessly. She doesn't understand why she is so miserable.

And I, a mom who revels in every stage her kids are in, see mine growing older, and taller, every day. And I am growing terrified too.

My friend is wondering if she should think about remarrying and having another baby. She's 42. I don't know what to tell her. We shouldn't be defined by our having children, should we? And we're all intelligent, strong minded women. What is going on with us?

I know the trite answers to tell myself and others. Get involved in your church and your community, give assistance to the needy, etc. But those don't fill the vacancy for anyone that I know. Is it just like grieving, and it gets better with time? My kids are still pretty young. I am trying not to look ahead, but I know that it is coming.

Where do we go from here?


greatwhitebear said...

As a single parent, the dilema is even worse, I think. On one hand, I know my 18 yr old daughter needs to become much more independant. I worry how she would fare if something happened to me. And I certainly would be glad to be rid of the mess that trails her around the house.

On the other hand, we have become dependant on each other. I have been both her father and her mother for a long time now. And if not always her best friend, her most dependable one.

And she has been my little pit bull protecter and companion for a long time. It would be horribly lonly without her here.

But she needs to get prepared for life on her own. I'm just trying to figure out how to do it and not damage that huge golden heart she has. And yeah, it's tough.

Tabasamu said...

I am scared of it. I try to avoid thinking about it. It's the loneliness within the HOME that alarms me. I can keep busy at work, and even after hours if I have to, but there will always be the empty echoes of empty spaces.

bananarama said...

My mother had a hard time with us all leaving the nest, and tried to micromanage us for years because she couldn't let go. We resented it at the time, but I understand it now.

Anonymous said...

When I had my three kids close together I never thought about this phase of life. When my oldest went away to college we both went through about a two week depression. She came back after a year and is attending a local college (too much partying going on). Now she's getting an apartment and my second is going away to college, with the third a year away.

I think this is the most difficult phase of life that there isn't any way to prepare. These kids have been the center of our universe for 21 years. We always have extras at the house which I know will change come August.

Thinking ahead we've taken up some new hobbies, one of which is motorcycle riding. Right now I go through weepy times and times where I think about what I can get done with all the free time.

This phase reminds me so much of when they started kindergarten and I felt like I wasn't the center of their universe anymore. It also reminds me of when they got their driver's licenses and jobs, and were around less. I guess their slow separation from us happens in small increments.

Sorry to rant, but this blog hit not too close to home, but right in my home.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Thank you so much for sharing, everyone. At least I don't feel so alone.

Anonymous said...

My kids leave every summer to visit their father for 2 months. I usually go through separation anxiety, wander around aimlessly feeling guilty for not having to worry about cooking dinner, getting homework done or making sure they take showers. This usually lasts for the first two weeks and then I settle in to peace and quiet only to find myself anxiously awaiting their return. As a single parent raising two boys (one about to turn 13 and the other 9) I hate the fact that they leave every summer. I feel as though I'm missing out on something important. For a fleeting moment I sometimes wish I lived closer to their father so that I can see them more often during the summer. Then I realize why I moved so far away. I miss my kids during the 2 months they spend away and can't wait until they return. I can't imagine what it feels like to have them finally leave for good. I only hope and pray the go to college close by and visit often.

Saur♥Kraut said...

I know! I hope they live near me. I don't want to be one of those clingy, dreadful mother in law types that has her kids tied to her apron strings (so to speak, since I don't have an apron!) But I really can't imagine having them live in another part of the country, or another part of the world!